Hiroshima  atomica bomb explosion Hiroshima atomica bomb explosion  

Pope Francis: 'Use and possession of nuclear weapons inconceivable'

In talks on Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Pope Francis says the use and possession of nuclear weapons is inconceivable.

By Linda Bordoni

In a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister on Wednesday morning before the General Audience, Pope Francis reiterated his position of total opposition to the use and possession of nuclear armaments.

According to Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, during their conversation that lasted about 25 minutes, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the Pope talked about nuclear weapons and about how their use and possession is inconceivable.

Long-standing opposition to nuclear arms

It is not the first time that Pope Francis has expressed this view.

Marking the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, he sent a message to organizers of the anniversary commemoration, recalling that he had prayed at the Hiroshima peace memorial during his 2019 visit to Japan and met with survivors.

“It has never been clearer that, for peace to flourish, all people need to lay down the weapons of war, and especially the most powerful and destructive of weapons: nuclear arms that can cripple and destroy whole cities, whole countries,” he said.

During his 2019 visit to Japan, Pope Francis described the possession or deployment of atomic weapons as immoral.

He has also repeatedly called for their abolition and expressed his support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Addressing participants in an International Symposium on "Prospects for a world free of nuclear weapons and for integral disarmament" in November 2017, the Pope stated: “Unless this process of disarmament be thoroughgoing and complete, and reach men’s very souls, it is impossible to stop the arms race, or to reduce armaments, or – and this is the main thing – ultimately to abolish them entirely.”

Pope Francis shakes hands with PM Fumio Kishida
Pope Francis shakes hands with PM Fumio Kishida

Marking 80 years of diplomatic relations

A statement released by the Holy See Press Office following the meeting said after his meeting with the Pope, the Japanese Prime Minister met held talks with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

The statement revealed that “During the cordial talks at the Secretariat of State, satisfaction was expressed for the bilateral collaboration, evoking the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Japan.”

In this context, the statement continued, the contribution of the Catholic Church in many sectors of Japanese society was noted and appreciated.

International issues were also addressed, with particular attention to the war in Ukraine, emphasizing the urgency of dialogue and peace and the wish was expressed for a world free of nuclear weapons.




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04 May 2022, 11:07